Three Vincentians were rescued at sea by two motor vessels within a week in July. Rescued are Junior De Roche, 18, of Union Island and Bradley Dickson, 28, of Rillan Hill who was rescued by M/V Gaselys on July 21, and Macgyver Allick who was rescued by M/V Trinidad Trader on Thursday, July 28.
The Coast Guard was informed on Monday July 18 by Union Island Police Station that Junior De Roche and Bradley Dickson left St. Vincent on Saturday July 16, about 3 p.m. for Union Island in a 16-foot fishing vessel. About 4:30 p.m., the vessel developed engine problems off Petit Canouan. The men attempted several times to restart the engine without any success and started to drift.
Upon receipt of the overdue vessel report, a search and rescue operation was activated for De Roche and Dickson. The Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre in Trinidad and Tobago and other relevant agencies were informed and searches were conducted by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard was also informed that a vessel left Union Island on July 16, to conduct searches for the men, with negative sighting.
De Roche in his statement given to the Coast Guard stated, “We made several cell phones calls to family and friends including the owner of the vessel, however, we continue drifting outside of cell phone coverage and sight of land. On Thursday, July 21st, 2016, I decided to try to start the engine again by pulling out some wires and placing them back on, the engine then start. We then began to run the boat and while doing so we saw a boat in the distance and we decided to go towards it. When we reached it, we flagged it down and asked for food. We were given food, water and orange juice; however, the vessel continues of its route. We decided to follow the vessel, it stopped, took us onboard including our vessel and was told that we will be taken to St. Vincent.”
De Roche and Dickson were rescued 133 nautical miles northwest of St. Vincent by M/V Gaselys, an oil tanker, which was en-route to the United States. M/V Gaselys was contacted by the SVG Coast Guard through the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre, Trinidad, and arrangements were made by the Coast Guard to rendezvous with M/V Gaselys, collect De Roche and Dickson as well as the vessel on July 22. They were taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital on arrival at the Coast Guard Base, Calliaqua.
On Friday, July 28, SVG Coast Guard was informed by Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard that fishing vessel Sharky, registration number J8-869 was rescued by M/V Trinidad Trader with one person onboard, Macgyvar Allick. Trinidad Trader which was en-route to Kingston, Jamaica, and on arrival at outer anchorage handed over Sharky and occupant to a Coast Guard Cutter which towed it to HMJS CAGWAY, Jamaica Coast Guard Base.
Allick informed the Jamaica Coast Guard that there was another occupant onboard which he only knows as Bernard. He said Bernard died, his body was decomposing and as a result he throw him overboard and that they were drifting for a month and a half. Allick was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital for medical treatment for dehydration. His mother was contacted about his rescue and she confirmed his name and date of birth to be Macgyvar Allick, 25, of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
On Saturday, July 18, SVG Coast Guard received an overdue vessel report from Inegus Miguel, who reported that his fishing vessel Sharky registration number J8-869 left Rose Place on Tuesday, June 14, on a trial run to the North Leeward coast and was expected to travel to Union Island. He informed the Coast Guard that the vessel was captained by Bernard Roberts and crew Macgyver Allick. He added that he made several attempts to contact them via cell phones but his efforts were futile.
The Coast Guard upon receipt of the report of Overdue F/V Sharky commenced search and rescue operations for the vessel and its occupants. The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and other relevant authorities/institutions were contacted and provided will all information on “Sharky”. Owner and relatives of the persons onboard were provided with periodic updates on the SAR operations for F/V Sharky.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Service is advising boat operators to adhere to the following boating safety recommendations:
- Check the local weather forecasts before going out to sea.
- Wear a personal flotation device. Bring a life jacket for everyone on board.
- Take along water, at least one gallon per person and enough food for a few days (dry food).
- Take along a compass, signalling device (flare, mirror), watertight torchlight and spare batteries and a radar reflector, which will assist in detection by other vessels fitted with radar.
- Slow down in rough seas or when making sharp turns.
- Paint your boat in bright colours that can easily be seen.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages and go fishing or boating. Stay sober, operating a boat under the influence is illegal and potentially dangerous to everyone.
- Take a Marine VHF DSC Radio. Cell phones are helpful, but the Coast Guard does not recommend their use as main communication device. Cell phones may not obtain signals while out at sea. We recommend that you invest in a VHF radio, preferably a VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) Radio that offers a stronger signal and is monitored by the Coast Guard (channels 16 and 70) and other boat operators.
- File a Float Plan before you leave for sea and share it with someone. Tell someone where you are going, how long you intended to stay and when you are expected back. Leave a written plan of the details of your intended voyage, your boat description, call sign, cell number, crew/passengers information, location and expected time back. Upon departure and return it is wise to tell the marina, Coast Guard, family or friends that you have departed or returned safely.
- Get your boat checked before you head out. Check with the Coast Guard, Fisheries Department, Fisherman Co-operative, Fishermen or other Boater for a Vessel Safety Check; remember they might see things which could have been overlooked by you or your crew.
- Take Boating Safety Classes. Everyone can only benefit from a refresher course in boating safety. Groups can contact the Coast Guard for Boating Safety tips.
- Cover Your Boat when not in use. Make sure your bilge pumps are operational and fitted with an automatic switch because heavy rains combined with wind-driven waves can add weight to boats to the extent that they may sink within hours.
- Watch for large waves and debris. Large waves can and do carry debris that can damage boats.
- Carry an alternative means of propulsion (sails/oars).
- Get familiar with applicable rules and regulations. A range of boating safety rules and regulations such as the Power Craft Act, SOLAS and Rules of the Road can only assist you to make wise and safe decisions at sea.
- Practice the 1/3 Rule. Remember 1/3 of your fuel to get you to your destination, 1/3 to bring you back and 1/3 reserve for unplanned fuel consumption.
- Assist other boaters who are in distress.
(Police Public Relations and Complaints Department)